Texas A&M's first-round streak continues
For everyone who disdains recruiting rankings as the be-all, end-all, put the 2011 Texas A&M signing class in your quiver.
Forget skill players like running back Ben Malena and receiver Malcome Kennedy. Guard Jarvis Harris, as well, should be drafted sometime Saturday.
The most impressive part of Texas A&M’s 19th-ranked 2011 class? The three regarded offensive tackles, all of whom have been drafted in the first round.
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When the Cincinnati Bengals selected Cedric Ogbuehi at No. 21 overall Thursday night, the Aggies extended an impressive streak of first-round picks to five consecutive years.
Texas A&M’s first pick in 2013 — Luke Joeckel, No. 2 overall to the Kansas City Chiefs — came to College Station as an offensive tackle in ’11. The Aggies’ first pick in 2014 — Jake Matthews, No. 6 overall to the Atlanta Falcons — joined the Aggies in ’11 as well.
It may be the first time in history that three players in the same recruiting class at the same school and the same position all became first-round picks.
Texas A&M’s other first-round picks during the current streak include receiver Mike Evans (2014), quarterback Ryan Tannehill (2012) and outside linebacker Von Miller (2011).
The Aggies have generated five first-round picks on offense since 2012, signifying both the national intrigue with the A&M football program and the lack of major success. Since Miller’s selection in ’11, the program has produced just three defensive draft picks. Defensive end Damontre Moore, selected in the middle of the third round in ’13, was the highest of those.
Head coach Kevin Sumlin hopes that new defensive coordinator John Chavis, along with young players like Myles Garrett, Armani Watts and Daylon Mack, will start to correct that imbalance.
LSU’s streak of four consecutive first-round picks ended. That makes Texas A&M and Alabama the only two programs with a streak of five or more consecutive years.
It’s tough to project A&M making it six in a row next year. Perhaps Germain Ifedi, another offensive tackle, will have an outstanding ’15 season and enter the NFL draft early.
The stat — five consecutive years with at least one first-round pick — is nice. Borderline impressive, even. But it’s just one of many signals that the Texas A&M football program has built some sustained success.
First-round picks are nice, but championships are even nicer, and I have a feeling that Aggies fans would trade any of those first-round selections for an SEC title. If the team can win one of those in the next few seasons, it will mean more than any NFL draft picks.